Supreme Court pulls up MoD for defaulting on OROP dues

Expressing displeasure with the notification, the CJI warned that a contempt notice might be issued against the concerned Secretary.

Published: 28th February 2023 08:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th February 2023 08:41 AM   |  A+A-

Supreme court

A view of the Supreme Court. (Photo | EPS)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Defence (MoD) on Monday faced the Supreme Court’s wrath for its notification dated January 20, 2023, in which it stated its intention to pay the arrears under the one Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme to all eligible pensioners by way of four equal instalments.

A bench of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala directed the Secretary, Department of Ex-Servicemen of the MoD to file a personal affidavit explaining the circumstances in which the unilateral decision was taken in the teeth of the SC’s order to disburse the funds by March 15, 2023.

Expressing displeasure with the notification, the CJI warned that a contempt notice might be issued against the concerned Secretary. Pulling up ASG Venkataraman appearing for the MoD, the CJI said, “You tell the Secretary we’re going to take action against him if he doesn’t withdraw January 20 notification. Sanctity of judicial process has to be maintained.”

“Either the communication needs to be withdrawn or we’ll issue a notice of contempt against your secretary. You have no business taking the law into your own hands. Here you are going to war against the rule of law. You better put your house in order,”  the CJI added further. 

Representing the ex-servicemen, Senior Advocate Hufeza Ahmadi said that approximately 4 lakh pensioners had passed away in the interregnum.  “Approximately 4 lakh pensioners have passed away and will never benefit from OROP. These pensioners are Army personnel,” he said.

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